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Parkinson's disease results from damage to clusters of neurons in particular areas of the brain (i.e. the substantia nigra). Gradually movement becomes more difficult and falling becomes frequent. Everyday activities, such as dressing and eating, become difficult. During the latter stages of the disease, the patient's cognitive function may become impaired. This disease can be helped with the use of medications. However, what causes neurons to die is not known. At the present time, there is no cure for the disease.
The Texas Tech Physicians faculty combines multiple investigators and capabilities allowing a continuum of research ranging from molecular genetics through basic biochemistry and neurotransmitter function to clinical pharmacology and physiologic evaluation of brain activity. The combination of multiple investigational skills provides the maximum potential for effective management and cure as the investigators interact to enhance the understanding of each other's knowledge and discoveries. Research and clinical management combine to provide a flexible medium in which education of young investigators and clinicians is maximized.
The Tarbox Clinic for Parkinson's Disease
The activities of the clinic have been expanded to better serve the patient and the patient's family. A multidisciplinary team has been formed consisting of:
a licensed social worker
This team prepares in advance of the patient's visit by reviewing records and developing a care plan. The Parkinson's Disease Information and Referral Center provides information to patients, families and healthcare professionals in Texas and eastern New Mexico.
A comprehensive center of excellence in the area of Parkinson's disease and movement disorders. The Tarbox Institute was named to honor Mr. Elmer L. Tarbox, a former state representative from Lubbock. The Tarbox Institute is currently in the Division of Neurology, Department of Neuropsychiatry.
The initial purpose of the program was to establish the Tarbox Parkinson's Disease Clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease and to establish and fund the Parkinson's Disease Information and Referral Center.
The current objectives of the Tarbox Institute are:
to provide services for Parkinson's disease patients and their families in the under-served West Texas area
to maintain a Parkinson's Disease Information and Referral Center to enable both healthcare professionals and affected families to obtain the latest information on services available, new developments in research, support groups, and educational literature
to conduct basic and clinical research studies leading to improved treatment of Parkinson's disease
to expand understanding of the neurobiology of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, including causes and pathogenic mechanisms
to train healthcare professionals and neuroscientists
to sponsor education and training in Parkinson's disease and associated disorders for caregivers, medical students, research investigators, social workers, and other professionals
to conduct research into care-giving and counseling, the results of which may be applied in the communities to improve care.
If you have a loved one affected by Parkinson's Disease, please contact the Tarbox Institute.